Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Good Old Days

We may be tempted to think that the moral decay we see around us is a new phenomenon, unparalled and unknown to history. Yet has there ever been a time when the old have not clucked their tongues at the falling standards of their world, living, in their mind, in the shadows of a bygone day when, among other delights, Good Help was **not** hard to find?

As a nod to Reformation Day, here are some observations made by Martin Luther, in light of the changes he saw happening around him in his day. Even when you nail 95 theses to the door of a church, the more things change, the more people stay the same:
"The more we go forward, the worse the world becomes.
...It is clear enough how much more greedy, cruel, immodest, shameless, wicked the people are now than they were under popery...
We Germans are today the laughing stock and disgrace of all peoples; we are regarded as ignominious and obscure swine... We steal, we lie... we eat and drink to excess, and we give ourselves to every vice...
It is the general complaint that the young people of today are utterly dissolute and disorderly, and will not let themselves be taught any more...
The women and girls of Wittenberg have begun to go bare before and behind, and there is no one to punish or correct them, and God's word is mocked."

(Compiled by Will Durant in The Story of Civilization VI: The Reformation, Chap. XXXIII, pg 765.)

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